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Sadler's Wells, photo from finalturn.com/gallery/albums.php

Sadler's Wells

Javier Farache

Sadler's Wells is born in USA on the first day of January of 1981, being breeded by the Society conformed by Robert Sangster, John Magnier and Vicent O'Brien. He is a small horse of chesnut brown hair with an exceptional pedigree, son of the immortal Northern Dancer, the most important breeding horse of the latest times, and of Fairy Bridge, a small mare who as race was unbeaten, y she was mother also of Fairy king, Tate Gallery, Fairy Gold, hermitage, Perugino,...belonging to one of the best lines of the world breeding, the same of Mocassin, Apalachee, Nureyev, King Pellinore, Thatch, or El Condor Pasa.

His life as a racer could not be better, with a total of six victories and four second positions in eleven performances and Usd 663.423.

Sadler's Wells, to two years old remained unbeaten in his two races, including the Panasonic Beresford Stakes (Gr.2) in Ireland. His best performance was at three years old, with victories in the Airlie/Coolmore 2000 Guineas (Gr.1), Coral Eclipse Stakes (Gr.1), Golden Fleece Phoenix Championship (Gr.1), and Derrinstown Stud Lakes (Gr.2). He finished second in the Prix du Jockey Club (Gr.1), King George & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Gr.1) and in the Gladness Stakes.

The entry of Sadler's Wells in the breeding took place in 1985 when he was four years old, being until the moment sire of 18 crops in the racing age. According to different experts, Sadler's Wells is a true phenomenon of the European Breeding, inclusive higher than what were in their time, the immortal Hyperion and Nearco.

Mainly the sons of this specimen are racers specialist in races over 2000 meters. His performance as breeder is catalogued as incredible, since, among other things, it is known that he has achieved the title of Champion Breeder in Europe between 1990 and 2003 (both included), except in 1991, where he was second in the ranking, and moreover of leader of two years old in 1992 and 1998.

Sadler's Wells

In the year 2001, Sadler's Wells obtained the leadership as sire of sons winners of Group 1. In the month of February of this year, when his son Subtle Power won the Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap(Gr.1), Sadler's Wells matched with Sir Tristam ( Sir Ivor y Isolt por Round Table ) the mentioned leadership with 45 winners of Group 1.

Months later, when his daughter Imagine won the Irish 1000 Guineas (Gr.1) displaced to Sir Tristam and achieved 46 victories, and then, to close the first part of the year in an exceptional way, his son Galileo wins the Vodafone Epsom Derby (Gr.1), one of the most important races of the horse racing world.

The main products of Sadler's Wells are, between others: Barathea, Beat Hollow, Carnegie, Chief Contender, Daliapour, Dream Well, El Prado, Entrepreneur, Galileo, Greek Dance, Imagine, In The Wings, Kayf Tara, King Of Kings, Montjeu, Old Vic, Opera House.

Already consecrated as father of racers, Sadler's Wells begins to stand out as father of breeders. There are several of his sons who have begun to attract the attention in the world breeding, among them Opera House, father of TM Opera, the biggest producer of money at world level; and In The Wings, father of Singspiel, the main European producer of money in the horse racing history.

In 2003, Sadler's Wells, equaled two records more than 200 years old in 2003 by leading England and Ireland’s combined general sire list for the 12th consecutive year and 13th time overall. That consecutive winning streak and overall total number of sire championships equaled the English records set by the immortal English racehorse and sire Highflyer, by Herod.

Undefeated in 14 starts on the racecourse, Highflyer led the English sire list from 1785 through '96 and again in 1798. The great American sire Lexington holds the world record for both consecutive and total number of sire championships. Lexington led the American general sire list 14 years in succession, 1861 through ’74, and added premierships in 1876 and ’78 for a total of 16.

Leading sire in England and Ireland in 1990, and from 1992 through 2003, Sadler's Wells has sired 229 stakes winners (17.2%) from 1,335 foals currently three-years-old or older. He also led the French sire list in 1993 and ’99.

With 174 current three-year-olds (year 2003), and 130 newly turned two-year-olds the 23-year-old son of Northern Dancer out of Fairy Bridge, by Bold Reason, who stands at Coolmore Stud in Ireland, is odds-on to continue his streak in 2004.


Sadler's Wells Captures Record 13th Consecutive Sire Title
New from Bloodhorse - 01.11.2005

Thirteen often is viewed as an unlucky number. But not when it refers to Sadler's Wells nowadays.

The 24-year-old son of Northern Dancer who stands at John Magnier and partners' Coolmore Stud in Ireland bettered the record of late 18th century English great Highflyer with his 13th consecutive leading sire title and his 14th overall. Sadler's Wells, who started his streak in 1992, finished 2004 with earnings of $7,582,687. Produced from the Bold Reason mare Fairy Bridge, Sadler's Wells first led the sire list in 1990 and was second the following year.


Sadler's Wells pensioned at 27
New from Thoroughbredtimes - 05.12.2008

Sadler’s Wells, the perennial leading sire who has accounted for 71 Group or Grade 1 winners, has been pensioned due to declining fertility at age 27.

The Northern Dancer stallion out of Fairy Bridge, by Bold Reason, stood for a private fee in 2008 at Coolmore in County Tipperary, Ireland.

Sadler’s Wells became the first sire to reach 200 stakes winners in 2002, and he is now five away from joining Danehill with 300 or more. He also set a standard with 71 Group 1 winners, including 22 classic winners and six Breeders’ Cup winners.

According to Equineline, Sadler’s Wells was England’s leading sire 11 times between 1990 and 2003 and leading broodmare sire in 2006 and 2007. He led the French sire list four times and broodmare sire list three times. He also was Ireland’s leading sire seven times and leading broodmare sire the past three years in a row.

"I think Sadler's Wells is generally acknowledged as the best sire Europe has ever seen and we feel very privileged to have been associated with him,” Coolmore manager Christy Grassick said. "Despite his advancing years, he is still in remarkably good condition and I hope he enjoys a long and happy retirement. His influence will be felt for many years to come and in Galileo (Ire), Montjeu (Ire), and High Chaparral (Ire); we are delighted to have his three best sons at Coolmore."

High Chaparral, Sadler’s Wells’s leading earner, collected Usd 5,331,231 in purses while winning the 2002 Vodafone Epsom Derby (Eng-G1), Budweiser Irish Derby (Gr.1), and consecutive editions of the John Deere Breeders’ Cup Turf (Gr.1) in 2002 and 2003.

Montjeu won the 1999 Irish Derby, Emirates Airline Prix du Jockey Club (Gr.1) (French Derby), and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Gr.1).

Galileo swept the 2001 Irish Derby, Epsom Derby, and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes (EGr.1).

Sadler’s Wells also sired 1990 champion turf male and Breeders’ Cup Turf winner In the Wings (GB), 1994 Breeders’ Cup Mile (Gr.1) Barathea, 1995 champion turf male and Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Northern Spur (Ire), 2003 champion turf female and Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1) winner Islington (Ire), and Canadian champion Perfect Soul (Ire).

Bred in Kentucky by Swettenham Stud and Partners, Sadler’s Wells won the 1984 Irish Two Thousand Guineas (Gr.1), Irish Champion Stakes, Coral Eclipse Stakes (Gr.1) for trainer Vincent O’Brien. He spent his entire stud career at Coolmore’s Irish base.


Sadler's Wells' Pedigree

Sadler's Wells (USA) Northern Dancer (CAN) Nearctic (CAN) Nearco
Lady Angela (IRE)
Natalma (USA) Native Dancer (USA)
Almahmoud (USA)
Fairy Bridge (USA) Bold Reason (USA) Hail to Reason (USA)
Lalun (USA)
Special (USA) Forli (ARG)
Thong (USA)


We would like to thank Juan Macedo his help in this bio and John P. Sparkman (Thoroughbredtimes.com)